Three Watertown artists are among the 60 local artists have been selected to participate in Play Me, I’m Yours, Luke Jerram’s popular public art installation that will make a return visit to Boston this fall, courtesy of Celebrity Series of Boston, organizers announced.
From Sept. 23 to Oct. 10, 2016, Street Pianos Boston will feature 60 pianos, decorated by these artists and placed in public outdoor spaces in every Boston neighborhood and select Cambridge locations for the public to play and enjoy. Each piano will feature a simple invitation: “Play Me, I’m Yours.”
Artists of all backgrounds, artistic abilities and experience in different mediums were encouraged to apply through a public application process.
Watertown residents, Ruth K Henry, Ryan Edwards, and Dawn Evans Scaltreto, that have been selected as artists for Street Pianos Boston.
Ruth K. Henry is a Watertown resident whose art stems from her love of color, texture, music, and justice. Henry has worked on many community arts projects and was inspired when she came across Street Pianos Boston in 2013.
Ryan Edwards is a multi-media artist living in Watertown. Edwards most often works in the space where music, dance, and physical art overlap. Edwards graduated from Berklee College of Music and has continued learning about African music and dance as well as apprenticing with public artists.
Dawn Evans Scaltreto is a professional artist and one of the founding board members and creators of the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown. Currently, Scaltreto is the President of the New England Watercolor Society.
The artists selected represent a variety of geographic locations, backgrounds, and mediums. Nineteen artists are returning to the program, having participated in Street Pianos Boston 2013. Forty-one of the artists are new to the project. The artists represent neighborhoods from across the city as well as Greater Boston. In addition to painting and illustration, the artists work in sculpture, quilting, woodblock printing, dance and music, all mediums they will bring to bear as they create the pianos.
“We are incredibly pleased with the response to our call for artists for Street Pianos Boston. There has been great enthusiasm about being a part of the installation and sharing a vision for these pianos with the entire city,” said Gary Dunning, Celebrity Series President and Executive Director. “The process has resulted in a strong, diverse group of artists and we can’t wait to see what they create.”
Both amateur and professional artists will be participating in the installation. For many, art is a full-time job but others balance their art with other efforts. For example, one of the selected artists is a professor of chemistry at Boston University. Another is an assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Suffolk University. One is an editorial assistant for an arts publication in Boston, another is a creative director at an advertising agency and yet another is an arts therapist.
The work to create the pianos has begun and will continue through Aug. 26 at the Innovation and Design Building in Boston. Once completed, the pianos will be tuned up before they are installed in every neighborhood across the city. The host locations for the pianos will be announced in early September.
Play Me, I’m Yours was created by UK artist Luke Jerram and has been touring internationally since 2008. Celebrity Series of Boston first produced the installation in Boston in 2013 when more than 500,000 people across the city engaged with Street Pianos Boston, sharing music and song in a citywide festival. More than 1,500 pianos have now been installed in 50 cities across the globe, from New York to London. The project has reached more than 10 million people worldwide, with each new city that commissions the work becoming part of a growing legacy.
In Boston, Play Me, I’m Yours is produced by the Celebrity Series of Boston, as part of Arts for All!, a community engagement initiative that reaches over 10,000 individuals annually through master classes with main stage artists in public schools and conservatories; hands-on, interactive workshops for youth led by a core group of Boston-area artists; free community concerts in Boston neighborhoods; free and discounted tickets to main stage performances; and large-scale, public participatory performance projects such as Street Pianos Boston.
Funding support for Street Pianos Boston 2016 is generously provided by Amy and Joshua Boger, The Boston Foundation, the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, the Klarman Family Foundation, Donna and Mike Egan, Eleanor and Frank Pao, Gentle Giant Moving Company, The Innovation and Design Bldg., the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, and Fund for the Arts, a public art program of the New England Foundation for the Arts.